Blog
Subscribe
Google Translate
Search
  • Sunset at Mojave Desert in Twentynine Palms, CA

Summer is here in the Mojave Desert, and we are ready for all that’s in store. From starry nights to annual meteor showers, make Twentynine Palms your destination for your out-of-this-world adventures this summer!

June gave us some of the most gorgeous evenings for stargazing. We started off with a third quarter moon meaning a new moon was right around the corner. With moonless nights on the horizon, it was the perfect opportunity for us to get out our telescopes and observe some deep sky targets. The day of the new moon also marked the first solar eclipse of 2021. Just days before the Summer Solstice, the moon popped back out after completing its first quarter of its orbit around the Earth on June 17. On June 20, we officially entered summer as the sun reached its northernmost declination for the year resulting in the longest daylight hours of the year for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere. Shortly after the Summer Solstice, the moon was in full force showing us what its capable of when it reaches its full phase.

July is an exciting month for many different reasons. The kids are still on summer vacation, the weather is perfect for taking a dip in the pool, and the night sky will be lit up twice! While the sky was lit up for the 4th of July festivities, the end of the month will give us a different light show: the Delta Aquarids Meteor Shower! At its peak, this shower can produce up 20 meteors per hour. Even though the nearly full moon will keep us from seeing some of the faintest meteors, we will still get a great glimpse at the shower the night of July 28. To get the best view, it is recommended to watch from a dark location after midnight. Lucky for us, Joshua Tree National Park is an International Dark Sky Park. Grab the family and head on up to the park for a late-night meteor shower watch party.

August will bring another meteor shower for our night sky viewing pleasure. The Perseids Meteor Shower is one of the best meteor showers to observe, producing up to 60 meteors per hour at its peak. With the waxing crescent moon setting in the early evening, viewers will be left with gorgeous dark skies for what is sure to be an excellent show. For the best viewing experience, be sure to watch from a dark location after midnight. Maybe this time, head out to the Mojave National Preserve or Mojave Trails National Monument to have a quiet, peaceful evening watching one of the best meteor showers of the year. Before heading into September, August will also give us our third full moon of the season, also known as a blue moon.

September brings us to the end of our summer nights in the desert. Before heading into the fall season, we will be graced with our fourth and final full moon of the season. The Harvest Moon is the full moon that occurs closest to the September Equinox each year. This year, it will occur on September 20. With the equinox coming in on September 22, it’s time for us to get ready for shorter days and longer nights. Of course, longer nights means more time to gaze up at the beautiful desert night sky. Our summer nights in the desert may be coming to an end, but that does not mean our galactic adventures end with it. Gear up! Grab your blankets and your hot cocoa. Winter is coming.

Visitors to Sky’s The Limit Observatory and Nature Center’s star party on Saturday, November 16 will be treated to a very special presentation of the cosmos with guest video astronomers and astrophotographers. This free, public event is sponsored by Visit 29 Palms, and will begin around 5:30pm and last approximately two hours.

Jim O’Connor from the Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association will be joined by Peter Ilott, a full-time rocket engineer and part-time astronomer; Jed Orme, an amateur photographer venturing into astrophotography; and Jerome and Debbie Womack, amateur astronomers experimenting with a variety of astrophotography equipment.

Often termed Electronically Assisted Astronomy (EAA) or Near Real Time Video (NRTV), the eyepiece of a telescope is replaced by an integrating video camera that shows celestial objects “live” on some type of monitor or projection device, conveying the imagery in color rather than shades of gray. Guest astronomers will be using this new technology to provide visitors a creative and colorful way to explore the cosmos, and in some cases to process the images captured.

Sky’s The Limit volunteers will also have a variety of telescopes set up for guests to use along the winding sidewalks, and always encourage guests to bring their own binoculars and scopes as well. The presentation is very casual, so come at any time and leave when you wish.

For more information about Sky’s The Limit, and to see photos taken through STL’s 14” Celestron Schmidt–Cassegrain telescope, visit www.skysthelimit29.org.

Book your overnight stay in 29 Palms and choose from a wide variety of hotels, motels, and vacation rentals, plus find lots of fantastic restaurants and shops just minutes away from Sky’s The Limit Observatory!

Moon rises at 8:22 pm (84.5%). Sunset 4:39 pm. NOTE THE TIME CHANGE.
Prominent constellations: Pegasus the Flying Horse, Lyra the Harp, Cygnus the Swan, Aquila the Eagle, and Aquarius the Water Bearer.

Join us this summer in 29 Palms and discover the Mojave Desert’s stunning dark night skies bursting with stars and dazzling meteor showers, and a breathtaking Milky Way!

From constellation tours and star parties at Sky’s The Limit Observatory and Nature Center, to upcoming solar and lunar eclipses, and evening programs at Joshua Tree National Park – an officially designated IDA International Dark Sky Park – there are incredible stargazing opportunities awaiting you in 29 Palms this summer. Plan your summer visit today!

Full Moon, Joshua Tree National Park, Twentynine Palms California.

Celestial summer night sky guide:

JUNE

JULY

AUGUST

Stargazing at Sky's The Limit Observatory and Nature Center, 29 Palms, California.

Best stargazing experiences in 29 Palms:

Star Parties at Sky’s The Limit Observatory and Nature Center
9697 Utah Trail, 29 Palms, CA 92277
Free public star parties are offered every Saturday, except on nights when the moon is full. Explore deep space with knowledgeable and passionate astronomers, learn about the prominent constellations and have your breath taken away by the summer milky way! Star parties start
about an hour after sunset and last approximately two hours.

Book a private stargazing party with the 29 Palms Astronomy Club
Whether you’re looking to spend an evening under the stars in Joshua Tree National Park or from the comfort of the patio of your hotel or vacation rental, the 29 Palms Astronomy Club will come to you! They offer fantastic private stargazing experiences, and cover the national park as well as the entire Morongo Basin area.

Discover the night sky in Joshua Tree National Park
74485 National Park Drive, 29 Palms, CA 92277 
Recognized as an International Dark Sky Park by the International Dark Sky Association, Joshua Tree National Park offers spectacular stargazing opportunities throughout the year, boasting some of the darkest skies in southern California. Relax under the stars at one of the evening programs hosted at Jumbo Rocks Campground, every Saturday from 8:30pm – 9:30pm from June 1 – August 19, 2019.


Stargazing in Twentynine Palms, California.

Stargazing Checklist:

Bring a red-light flashlight – Avoid standard flashlights and headlamps with bright white light and either purchase a red-light flashlight, or convert your regular flashlight by coloring it with a red sharpie or covering it with red cellophane.

Bring warm layers – Be prepared for temperatures to drop quickly in the evening so be sure to bring extra layers of warm clothing.

Pack food and water – Don’t let a rumbling stomach distract you from enjoying the stars, or assume you won’t need water. The Mojave Desert is an extremely dry and hot place, even on summer evenings so bring at least 2 liters of water per person.

Bring a comfortable chair – Since you’ll be spending a long evening looking up into the sky you’ll want to have a lightweight camping chair to give your legs a break from standing, and so you can sit back and enjoy the show, especially during meteor shower peaks!

Avoid stargazing when the moon is full – Check the moon’s phase and try and get out during the new moon phase in order to see the stars at their brightest!

California Now Podcast

For more information and inspiration on stargazing in southern California, tune in to the first-ever Road Trips: Searching for Stars episode of the California Now Podcast as host Soterios Johnson gets out of the studio and explores Southern California’s awe-inspiring night sky!

Be sure to pick up a copy of the special road trip issue:
California Road Trips: 50 Life-Changing Adventures


Plan your summer getaway to 29 Palms, and come and experience some of the darkest night skies in southern California!

Summer Adventure
Attractions
JTNP Inside Scoop
Upcoming Events
Lodging
Restaurants
Cultural Arts
Family Fun
Project Phoenix
Historical